Antonio Flores’ Glitter In My Face improved her record to a perfect three for three following a half-length victory over fastest qualifier She Forgives in the Grade 2 $281,100 Kindergarten Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Sent off at 3-1 odds from post number seven, Glitter In My Face led every step of the way while covering the 300 yards in a time of :15.278. Ridden by the meet’s leading Quarter Horse jockey Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, who was saddling the third Kindergarten winner of his career, Glitter In My Face earned $118,062 for the win.
“My first Kindergarten win with Sneaky Fast (in 1997) was special because it came when I was newly into the babies and he was a big longshot winner,” Flores said. “Then with West Coast Hawk (in 2010), that was awesome because he was an outstanding horse. He always did everything right and he was a powerful. Now this one is extra special because my dad owns her. He helps me a great deal and he’s my assistant trainer. He’s been in the game for 25 years. My dad always enjoyed the claimers and this is his first futurity win.”
Sired by Special Cartel and out of the Pritzi Dash mare Granny Janny, the E/S Stables Inc.-bred filly flew at the start and had a length advantage with 110 yards to go. She Forgives made a valiant run from post number three, but Glitter In My Face’s quick start was the key to her victory. For Mendez, who is the meet’s leading Quarter Horse rider, the victory was his first in the prestigious Kindergarten.
“She had a perfect start,” Flores added. “She drifted out, but never lost her concentration. She beat a great filly in She Forgives. I hope my filly continues this way for the Governor’s Cup Futurity. It gets harder from here, but with her talent hopefully she can avoid mistakes. I liked her and a Hawkinson colt named El Payo so we paid them into the Kindergarten. They were not very big, but they were both smart and light on their feet. I am also happy for Special Cartel. I hope this helps the interest in him.”
Racing for Dutch Masters III, She Forgives was fifth at the start after breaking out and bumping with stablemate Docs First Fire. The filly regained her stride and posted a solid second place finish. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Jaime Gomez, She Forgives earned $47,787 for her runner-up effort. Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III recently underwent a heart procedure, but he was on hand in the Vessels Club at Los Alamitos Race Course to watch the running of one of his favorite Quarter Horse races - the Kindergarten Futurity.
“I’m getting by pretty good,” he said. “I had a heart pump put in place two months ago. I still tired easily, but I’m getting better all of the time. My heart was failing, but the pump can keep me going. The pump is a bridge to a transplant. I feel blessed that they have this type of technology. I can still be alive and see my grandchildren. I’m functioning pretty well right now. I can come to the track and root for my horses. She Forgives almost got there tonight. You want to win the race, but I’m not disappointed with second place. There are eight other owners that would like to be in my shoes tonight. We’ve been fortunate to win this race four times and I think we’ve had seven second place finishes. This has always been a good race for us.”
Bred by Ed Allred, She Forgives had won her previous two career starts. She was purchased by Dutch Masters III at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale.
Balgo Racing Team, Inc. and Marlyn Gonzalez’s Hot Capuccino earned $33,732 for finishing third from post number one. A Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduate, the filly by Walk Thru Fire was ridden by Santiago Mendez for trainer Guillermo Morales. Jaime Gomez bred Hot Capuccino.
Tom Close and Lee Thompson’s Last Chancer earned $19,677 for finishing fourth. Duke Of Carter, Docs First Fire, Foose Is Loose, Shaded Secrets and Shake Djibouti completed the field. Bad Fast did not run back in the Kindergarten final due to a minor injury. She is expected to compete in the trials to the major futurities later in the year.
A pair of juvenile races were contested on Sunday at Los Alamitos and the winners delivered sizzling fast times at 300 yards. The first of two races for 2-year-olds went to San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Five Bar Cartel, who scored an ultra impressive 1 ¾ length debut victory in a time of :15.393. His clocking is one of the fastest by a first time starter this year. The chestnut colt is a son of the outstanding Corona Cartel and out of the Grade 1 winner Five Bar Molly. Five Bar Cartel is a full brother to Grade 1 finalist Mollys Cartel. Danny Montes saddled the Esmeralda Flores-bred Five Bar Cartel, who was ridden to victory by Cruz Mendez.
The other race for freshman sprinter was won by Balgo Racing Team, Inc’s Nefertity. Ridden by Santiago Mendez for trainer Guillermo Morales, Nefertity won her debut by ¾ lengths in a time of :15.442. Leaving the gate from post number one, the homebred sprinter was always on the lead. She had previously posted 220-yard workouts of :12.10 on April 16 and a bullet drill of :12.20 on March 23. The filly by TR Dasher is a half sister to La Pacifica Handicap winner and La Primera Del Ano Derby runner-up Feature Malinche.